CANTON, Ga. — Logan Benavides and her daughter Ava live for Atlanta Falcons football. They became huge fans when they moved to Atlanta seven years ago.
So when her mother set a date for her virtual wedding, Ava threw out a crazy idea for who else Logan should invite.
“She jokingly said ‘Why don’t you reach out to Grace and Ricardo?” Logan said.
Ava was referring to Falcons star safety Ricardo Allen and his wife Grace, who have become role models for their family. The Benavides sent the couple an invitation via Instagram. The Allens didn’t hesitate to accept.
“This was definitely the first time we attended a fan’s wedding,” Grace Allen said. “When she reached out, we thought it was a cool thing to do.”
“We’re fans, strangers to them and they made our day a little more special than it already was to begin with,” Logan aid.
Logan started following the Falcons when she and Ava moved to Atlanta from Birmingham in 2013. It’s around the same time she met her future husband Yarold. The couple became engaged in March 2018 when he popped the question at SkyView Atlanta.
“She [my daughter] knew he was going to propose. He did and then asked her if he could be her dad and gave her a matching ring,” Logan said.
Logan and Yarold planned for a small wedding, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they moved it to a virtual wedding over a Zoom call.
“I just didn’t want the stress of a huge wedding. But I don’t think we would have done it virtually if it wasn’t for the coronavirus,” Logan said.
“That was pretty cool to see the way you can still get things done,” Grace said.
“It took 20 minutes out of a random afternoon to show that we care. I think it goes a long way.”
Benavides and Grace Allen have actually spoken for years through social media. Logan started to follow the Allens on Instagram and one day Grace followed her back.
“She said ‘I look up to you and Rico’s relationship and the way you guys talk to one another and treat one another.' I thought that was really nice of her,” Grace said.
The Allens met as undergraduates at Purdue University. Now, a stay-at-home mom, Grace runs her own lifestyle website and is also known as an Instagram influencer. The couple also started their own podcast to discuss their life on and off the field.
“I know people say marriage goals. But they’re likable people,” Logan said. “She’ll share recipes and things she buys, about her being like a mom. Her husband’s an NFL player and great at football. But it makes them more human.”
Fans look up to Ricardo as a football player and his work in the community. But to hear that people like Logan admire Grace too goes a long way for the wife and mother of three.
“It means a lot more than people would think that it does. I went to school for so long, got my bachelor’s and master’s. I’m a stay at home mom now raising our family. It feels nice to know that my dedication to our family, how we raise our children, relationship with my husband is what people look up to.”
Cox Media Group